The Dallas Mavericks have settled the series against the Phoenix Suns. In Game 4 of the Conference Semifinals, almost the entire Downtown team is warming up. Chris Paul makes a bizarre appearance on the other side.
The Mavericks hit 20 three-pointers as a team, eight of which came from Dorian Finney-Smith alone (career-high 24 points, 8/12 3FG, 8 rebounds). Luka Doncic scored 26 points (9/25 FG, 7 rebounds, 11 assists), Jalen Brunson delivered 18 points. Maxi Kleber put 11 and 7 rebounds off the bench.
On the other hand, Devin Booker was clearly the best man with 35 points and 7 assists, but he was more or less let down by his backcourt colleague. Chris Paul had only 5 points and 7 assists because he made a mistake in 23 minutes. Jae Crowder (15) and Deandre Ayton (14 and 11 rebounds) provided some support, but it was not enough.
Both teams started with the usual starting fives. And both teams started with good odds, after less than four minutes Dallas was already 13: 8 ahead. However, there was still cause for concern because Doncic was so upset by a missing whistle after just two and a half minutes that he got the game’s first technical.
Otherwise, things went very well for Dallas in the beginning. Doncic did what he wanted and the Mavs beat their threes. Finney-Smith scored for 24:13, after which Crowder limped into the locker room but was able to return quickly. Phoenix still seemed strangely disorganized. Bertans raised from the corner to +13, Booker (already 13 points) ensured injury limitation. 37:25 Mavs after a quarter.
Chris Paul is barely on the field in the second half
Bertans gave the Suns the next two triples, Dinwiddie followed up, Crowder got some fire on the other side. After more than six minutes on the bench, Doncic returned to his team at +9, Phoenix was now better in the game. Doncic blamed Paul and Bridges for their third mistake, and things got hotter again. Right at the end of the quarter, Paul also admitted a loose ball error – his fourth! 68:56 Dallas at the break.
Phoenix came out of the locker room full of steam, but Paul took the wind out of his team’s sail by immediately claiming his fifth foul. Mavs opened the quarter 0-7 before Brunson hit a heavy jumper, then it was prompt for a 7-0 run. Doncic picked up Payne several times and scored, but Johnson woke up on the other side and at least gave Booker a playing partner. That was enough to continue. 87:78 after three quarters.
Hard to believe: Paul returned and almost instantly admitted his sixth foul, being thrown out of a playoff game for the fourth time in his career. Booker initially kept his team in contention and put threes down to -8 with just under four minutes left, but the Mavs responded with two triples again. 1:34 before the end, Doncic put the ball in after a post-up against Johnson to 109: 95 and laughed – that was the final decision.
The most important statistic
Dallas Mavericks (4) – Phoenix Suns (1) 111: 101 (BOXSCORE), Series: 2-2
- Mavs got off to a warm start, especially from the center, sinking 8/13 threes in the first quarter and 14/24 at the break – setting the franchise record for threes at halftime. The 68 points Dallas tipped the Suns at halftime were the second most Phoenix conceded in a halftime this season.
- Remarkable: Phoenix had only attempted ten three-pointers (five hits) in the same period. In the second half, the Mavs were much more eager to shoot, even though they did not hit nearly as well in the third quarter. In the end, though, they stood at a terrific 20/43, the Suns at 9/25. Phoenix had significantly more twos (30 to 18), but that discrepancy was still difficult to reconcile.
- Perhaps the biggest difference in the first half next to the three: the production from the bench. Dallas looked like a much deeper team as Bertans, Dinwiddie and Kleber all delivered – as opposed to the Knots at the other end. It was 29: 8 in bank points. In the second half, the Suns bench woke up a bit, but it still remained pretty clear (36:26).
- The Suns are actually famous for avoiding mistakes. But for the second time in a row, there was little to see. Countless stupid mistakes became a big problem and Phoenix lost 17 turnovers again, just like in Game 3. Dallas helped with another good defense, but it was just not as pure a match as one might expect from the Suns.
Mavs Vs. Suns: The Voice of the Game
Jason Kidd (Coach Mavs) about drawing errors: “We’re being taught that by one of the best point guards ever on the opposite side. It’s pretty cool.”
Chris Paul (Suns): “I have to look at this again. I mean, I can not put myself in this situation where they can do such a thing.”
Game star: Dorian Finney-Smith
A good time for what is probably the best game of his career. Finney-Smith provided the usual strong defense, was everywhere and also had the extremely warm hand in front. Good work!
Game flop: Chris Paul
For the second year in a row, Paul was just behaving strangely in Dallas. Several calls were debatable, especially the last one, but CP is probably not the one who can complain about such a thing. And in several actions, he simply acted hastily. Other than that, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Payne did not look good either.
Hard not to get a call in such a heated game. After making four mistakes in one half for the first time (!) In his career, Paul was not satisfied and pushed himself unnecessarily into Brunson’s way with the ball in hand. An offensive foul was called, and Monty Williams’ challenge did not change that. What was God thinking?
NBA Playoffs – Suns vs. Mavs: The series at a glance
|1||May 3||4 o’clock||Phoenix Suns||Dallas Mavericks||121: 114|
|2||May 5||4 o’clock||Phoenix Suns||Dallas Mavericks||129: 109|
|3||May 7||3.30||Dallas Mavericks||Phoenix Suns||103: 94|
|4||May 8th||21.30||Dallas Mavericks||Phoenix Suns||111: 101|
|5||May 11||4 o’clock||Phoenix Suns||Dallas Mavericks||–|
|6||May 13||3.30||Dallas Mavericks||Phoenix Suns||–|
|7 *||May 16||TBD||Phoenix Suns||Dallas Mavericks||–|